MESS Project (Mull and Iona Environmentally Sensitive Solutions)

The MESS project was started in 2002 as a community driven venture to find practical solutions to environmental issues on the islands. Working closely with Argyll and Bute council the project initially operated bring site recycling services.

MESS seeks to engage the communities of Mull and Iona in practical activities to Reduce Reuse and Recycle their waste.

Island Castaways

The first charity shop was opened in Bunessan in 2003 and the Craignure branch in 2005, followed by the opening of a summer pop up shop in the Tobermory in 2012. Island Castaways has proved to be a great success with a large annual landfill tonnage diversion and providing a good income for the project and community grants. We offer a volunteering opportunity for over 40 residents. It is a fantastic social hub which offers a recycling solution for unwanted goods and offers affordable and original purchases for visitors and locals.

Funding from CCF in recent years has allowed us to expand our activities

  • We have tackled food waste in a number of ways, a community fridge, trial food waste collection in Tobermory, composters for schools and businesses and community groups, education at events and in schools.
  • Recycling on the go bins situated around the island taking recyclable material out of general waste bins.

  • Recycling bins at events throughout the island.

  • Trialing plastic free alternatives for single use plastics.

  • Recycling and upcycling opportunities.

  • Carbon education.

Other Activities

  • Promote refilling of water bottles on the island as part of the Refill Scheme.

  • Were involved in setting up Plastic Free Mull.

  • Promote reusable shopping bags.

  • Business recycling.

  • Eco charter

  • Man with van service.

The Future

We are looking at ways of continuing our work and investigating the possibility of having a Re-use facility at the Tobermory Industrial Park.

Meet the Team

Derek Crook
Derek CrookMICT Director on MESS Steering Group
Hazel Cowe
Hazel CoweMESS Project Manager
Ewan Baxter
Ewan BaxterMESS Administrator
Jenny MacDowall
Jenny MacDowallMESS Supervisor
Eve Coles
Eve ColesMESS Storeroom Assistant
John Weir
John WeirElectrical PAT Tester
Silke Burrows
Silke BurrowsRelief Resource Recovery Worker
Grant Young
Grant YoungEbay Sales
Alex MacMillan
Alex MacMillanMESS Van Driver
Tony Robinson
Tony RobinsonRelief Van Driver

Mess Funds

A share of the profits of Island Castaways is gifted to community groups on Mull and Iona each year. If your community group or organisation would like to receive a grant of up to £500 please fill out and return a completed application form to us. Tell us how you would spend the money and say how your group promotes reuse/recycling as this is an important part of the work we do at Island Castaways. The MESS steering group usually allocate funds twice per annum.

For more information, please contact Hazel Cowe on 01680812902